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Effectiveness of EEG Biofeedback as Compared with Methylphenidate in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Cinical Out-Come Study

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DOI: 10.4236/nm.2011.22012    7,789 Downloads   17,153 Views   Citations


Operant conditioning of the electroencephalographic rhythm (EEG biofeedback) is argued to be an effective method for treating children with ADHD. This study was designed to evaluate whether this method, compared to methylphenidate, achieves an equally effective outcome. Participants were 39 children aged between 7-12 years. Thirteen children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were trained to enhance the amplitude of the beta1 activity (15-18 Hz) and decrease the amplitude of the theta activity (4-8 Hz), and 13 of which were treated with methylphenidate alone. Thirteen healthy children did not receive intervention. Several behavioral, neuropsychological and experimental tests were administered before and after intervention. While behavioral measures were improved by both types of method, methylphenidate was significantly more effective than EEG biofeedback. Response inhibition was improved only by EEG biofeedback. Both EEG biofeedback and methylphenidate were associated with improvements on the variability and accuracy measures of computerized tests. Intellectual ability increased also by both methods. Although averaged effect size for methylphenidate seems to be greater than for EEG biofeedback, the difference was not significant. In conjunction with other studies, these findings demonstrate that EEG biofeedback can significantly improve several be-havioral and cognitive functions in children with ADHD, and it might be an alternative treatment for non-responders or incomplete responders to medication as well as for those their parents favor a non-pharmacological treatment.

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M. Nazari, L. Querne, A. Broca and P. Berquin, "Effectiveness of EEG Biofeedback as Compared with Methylphenidate in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Cinical Out-Come Study," Neuroscience and Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011, pp. 78-86. doi: 10.4236/nm.2011.22012.


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